The Lighthouse Trainee programme provides a boost straight into the shipping industry. Just ask Erik Blackert. Immediately after the trainee year, he got the job he was aiming for.
“I’m a naval architect at Wallenius Marine. I work with hull design, count on stability and participate in veryfing the design of new vessels. It’s fun. That’s what I studied for and hoped for”, says Erik Blackert.
He started on October 1, just after his year as a Lighthouse trainee. So, in other words he reached his goal right away. But how did it all start – when did he realize he wanted to be a shipbuilder?
“Boats have always been an interest, I like sailing in my spare time and have had a sailboat with my brother for a few years now. When I found out you could focus on shipbuilding for the master, it felt like a natural choice.”
After getting a bachelor’s degree, he left his hometown of Linköping for Stockholm and KTH. Last year, he took his master’s degree as a Naval Architect and then applied to the Lighthouse trainee programme and was accepted. In September 2020, he began his first trainee period at Floatel. This was followed by Wallenius Marine in January and Kongsberg in Kristinehamn in May.
“I did different things in different places. At Floatel, I compiled statistics from the operation of their rigs, which were used to predict service needs. I was also involved in a calculation of a battery hybrid and what it would mean operationally.”
At Wallenius Marine, he helped with the Oceanbird project and, among other things, produced figures on how much energy consumption would be saved on the wind-powered vessel compared with the company’s existing vessels. He also did a study on the suitability of solar panels on ships.
“Oceanbird must maintain a minimum speed and if the wind is not enough, it must run on engine power. And regardless of whether you go for wind, electricity is required to power the kitchen, heating and other systems on board.”
Of course, doing trainee periods in the middle of an ongoing pandemic is not optimal. But Erik Blackert still thinks it worked well.
“At all companies, I was allowed to be at the office at least a few days a week. It was very nice to not only have to work from home as a newcomer. I also got the chance to go on two trips, a trip to Bergen to visit one of Floatel’s rigs and a tour of the Baltic Sea with one of Wallenius’ ships.”
Via Teams, he also got to participate in some international meetings and even though it is not the same as meetings in real life, the Trainee program has still generated some contacts.
“It is a good programme that you should go if given the chance. Then it’s a bit up to you to push yourself so you get tasks you think are fun. It requires a little commitment and I recommend you to read about the companies and try to get an idea of what you can do to contribute.”
So what’s the best thing about the Trainee programme?
“That you get to get to know how the culture is in different workplaces. And of course, the skills you acquire. You get an insight into different parts of the industry. I have worked at a shipping company, a newbuilding office and a subcontractor. I have really gained a broad perspective from the industry”, says Erik Blackert.
The application period for the trainee program runs until 31 January. Read more and apply.